Are you a fan of rye? Nordic Rye Berry and Salmon Salad

Are you a fan of rye? No- I’m not speaking of the beverage, whiskey, but of the grain.

Rye bread is known to go hand in hand with certain foods – corned beef, for example. But if you’re looking for whole grains, this type of rye bread is usually made up of a mix of refined wheat and rye flour. Then there are dark rye breads, or pumpernickel, that are similar in texture to their paler counterparts but have colouring added, in the form of caramel or molasses.

There are many whole grain rye breads, including pumpernickel varieties, on store shelves, though. The key is to read the ingredient list and as ingredients are listed in order of amounts, look for those where rye is the first ingredient.

I was recently reminded of my love for the type of rye bread from northern European or Scandinavian countries. It’s a dark, dense type of bread that I love topped with a honey mustard, homemade gravlax and some sprigs of dill. (I had been reading a comprehensive guide about whole grain breads by Cheryl Strachan on her blog, Sweet Spot Nutrition which reminded me)

It’s interesting to note that grain products made from rye are traditional in places like Northern Europe and Russia as rye can grow in wetter and colder climates compared to other grains.

And here’s a fascinating fact: According to the Whole Grains Council, rye may have played a role in the Salem witch trials. Apparently some girls in the town had experienced convulsions and other such symptoms. Others then suffered the same fate. It was thought, at the time, that the girls were bewitching the residents of Salem. But it’s currently thought the those stricken had simply eaten rotten rye.

In any case, we now know to avoid mouldy food.

Rye’s fabulous fibre
When it comes to whole grains and fibre, rye tops the list in terms of content. It contains a mix of soluble and insoluble types with its soluble fibre offering health perks for both blood cholesterol lowering and blood sugar regulation.

A recent investigation , called the Rye Weight Study, looked at the impact of high-fibre rye products versus refined wheat products on both weight loss and inflammatory markers in a group of subjects trying to lose weight. The rye group not only lost more weight than did the refined wheat eaters but they also had lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is linked to inflammation in the body.

When it comes to rye products, you can also go for intact grains by using rye berries– the whole grain which has not been milled.

Here’s a recipe from the Oldways Whole Grains Council by Kelly LeBlanc. If you don’t have the smoked salmon, cold grilled or poached salmon works well too.

Nordic Rye Berry and Salmon Salad

Makes 4 servings

1 cup rye berries
1 ½ cups green beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 large cucumber, sliced into half-moons
8 ounces hot-smoked salmon, torn into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup chopped fresh dill

½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp water
¼ tsp black pepper

Cook rye berries according to package instructions.

While rye berries are cooking, put green beans in a large skillet and cover with water. Cook over medium for about 5 minutes, until beans are tender but still bright green.

Drain off the excess water.

To make dressing, combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.

To assemble the salad, toss the spinach with the dressing, then toss in the cooked, drained rye berries, the green beans, cucumber slices, salmon pieces, and dill.

Nutrition information per serving:
• Calories: 430
• Protein: 44 grams
• Fat: 13 grams
• Saturated fat: 2.5 grams
• Carbohydrate: 40 grams
• Dietary fibre: 9 grams
• Sodium: 350 milligrams

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Categories: Nutrition News, Recipes, Whole Foods

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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3 Comments on “Are you a fan of rye? Nordic Rye Berry and Salmon Salad”

  1. October 15, 2021 at 11:07 am #

    This looks delicious, and I am a fan of rye.

  2. October 15, 2021 at 11:27 am #

    Thanks for your feedback, Dorothy! I, too, am a fan of rye but rye berries were new to me. Enjoy!

  3. October 18, 2021 at 8:54 am #

    I *love* rye bread (sans the caraway seeds) but I have never even heard of rye berries. I’m going to go look for some!

    Thank you Rosie! ♥

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